Barcelona's Lionel Messi to appear in court today over tax fraud allegations

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the match against Valencia on September 1, 2013
© AFP
Barcelona star Lionel Messi will appear in a Spanish court today alongside his father Jorge, who are both accused of tax fraud.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father Jorge are due to appear in court today on charges of tax fraud.

The pair, who have been accused of three counts of defrauding the Spanish state of taxes, are expected to face the allegations in a closed-court session in Gava, according to BBC News.

The charges are in relation to claims that the pair filed false tax returns in 2007, 2008 and 2009, amounting to £3.4m. They are alleged to have used companies abroad in Belize and Uruguay to sell the Ballon d'Or winner's image rights.

Earlier this month it had been reported that the pair paid £4.2m to the Spanish authorities as a "correct payment".

Both deny the allegations.

Lionel Messi
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